A couple of months before this gig Dare had been headlining the Marquee now, a a couple of blocks up the road, they were headlining the much bigger Astoria… and packing it out *and* having some very special guests turn up for a couple of tracks.
This was my first time at The Astoria (a venue I carried on visiting for gigs – and club nights – until it was closed, and subsequently demolished, in 2009). It was certainly among one of my favourite venues, along with Brixton Academy, The Town & Country Club (later known as The Forum) in Kentish Town, and for the much smaller gigs The Marquee of course. I’ve always been a fan of the small-medium sized venues over Arena/Stadium concerts, although I’m also a fan of outdoor gigs/festivals (although not so much on windy days when you end up not hearing anything…).
Dare were one of those bands that grew quickly in popularity but didn’t really make a dent on the radar for most people. It’s always odd when that happens, when you get a band that is selling out decent sized venues but most of your friends, and the population in general, have never heard of them. Anyway, it didn’t matter to me then and it doesn’t really matter now – although there are a bunch of bands I’ve seen over the years whom I really wish had achieved greater success and longevity as they were bloody good. Dare is kind of in this category for me. Very pleased I managed to catch them back in the 80’s, although they have resurfaced in recent years and are actually touring again in 2022. A trip down memory lane waiting to happen for me? Maybe 🙂
Oh, the special guests I mentioned? Europe (aka ‘Final Countdown’) joined them for a couple of tracks.